Elem. – The Shark Book

Jenkins, Steve, & Robin Page. The Shark Book. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. 33 p. 978-1-328-56949-3. $17.99. Grades K-2.

The Shark Book features information about various types of sharks, some living and some extinct, all throughout the world. The book goes into detail about the different parts of a shark, how sharks are born, what sharks eat, and much more! At the end of the book, there is a table that goes over more information about each individual shark, including their conservation status. The book also includes a bibliography as well. The illustrations are wonderfully done and add so much to the book as the reader goes through. There is enough information to entice a reader who wants to learn more about sharks, as well as enough unique information for someone who knows a lot about sharks.

THOUGHTS: This is a wonderful nonfiction book about sharks that is a great addition to any elementary school collection. 

597.3 Sharks            Mary McEndree,  Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy

Elem. – Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate

Stewart, Melissa. Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate. Charlesbridge, 2021. 978-1-580-89716-7. Unpaged. $16.99. Grades K-3. 

Scientists are still learning about estivation, the opposite of hibernation. Animals that estivate sleep away the summer in cool, sometimes wet, environments while their bodies take a break from warm temperatures. Melissa Stewart provides simple text about estivation that wraps through pages while each two-page spread shows a different estivating animal from around the world. Illustrator Sarah S. Brannan’s watercolor pictures show the estivating animal in their home environment topped with a notebook sketch of the animal; the notebook page also contains the animal’s name, home location, scientific name, and size. Each spread includes a paragraph of information from Stewart. Featured animals include yellow-bellied marmats, Christmas Island red crabs, convergent ladybugs, and more. Excellent, supportive back matter includes more information about featured animals, a section on estivation vs. hibernation, recommended resources, author’s and illustrator’s notes, and selected sources. Front and back endpapers are also beautiful and add excellent visual appeal.

THOUGHTS: Interesting and appealing, suggest this book to animal lovers, kids interested in science, and any reader who enjoys learning about new topics. 

571.7 Animal Biology           Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Looking at Layers (Series NF)

Looking at Layers. The Child’s World, 2020. $20.00 ea. 24 p. Grades 3-6. 

London, Martha. Looking Inside Earth. 978-1-503-83518-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Looking Inside the Human Body. 978-1-503-83519-1.
—. Looking Into Caves. 978-1-503-83522-1.
—. Looking Into Soil. 978-1-503-83520-7.
London, Martha. Looking Into the Atmosphere. 978-1-503-83516-0.
—. Looking Into the Grand Canyon. 978-1-503-83517-7.
—. Looking Into the Ocean. 978-1-503-83515-3.
Huddleton, Emma. Looking Into the Rain Forest. 978-1-503-83521-4.

An attractive nonfiction series exploring various layers of natural things, from the human body to soil to the rainforest. Straightforward text clearly explains concepts with a natural projection from outward layers in. Words from the glossary are highlighted in red which is a nice feature for readers. Sidebars focus on timely topics, such as “Creating Mountains” when text discusses tectonic plates in Looking Inside Earth. Visuals are both illustrations and photographs. Looking Inside the Human Body has fascinating illustrations of many body systems that will keep little readers absorbed. Back matter includes a helpful Fast Facts section that covers main points from the text, a glossary, “To Learn More” section, and index.

THOUGHTS: Nice collection additions if nonfiction is hot.

500s-600s          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations

Perdew, Laura. Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations. Nomad, 2020. 978-1-61930-960-9. 29 p. $9.95. K-3.

This nonfiction science title describes unique adaptations of various mammals. Whales, for example, have earwax plugs that help them hear better. Elephants use their ears for hearing AND staying cool. Both entertaining and informational, this book presents young readers with facts that will surprise and captivate them. It includes an activity and a glossary for further learning.

THOUGHTS: This would make a great addition to any elementary classroom or library collection. It is an excellent supplemental resource for elementary lessons on evolution and adaptation. This title is actually part of a collection that explores adaptations in other animals, too, including amphibians, fish, birds, and reptiles. Hand this to young scientists and/or animal lovers, and they will be delighted.

599 Mammals          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member